Members of the Oak Ridge Unitarian Universalist Church are scheduled to vote at 11:45 a.m. today on whether to sell their property to make way for a commercial development anchored by a Kroger Marketplace at the busy intersection of Oak Ridge Turnpike and Illinois Avenue.
The church, also used for many community functions such as League of Women Voters events and Rotary Club meetings, is located on 3.6 acres just east of that intersection. The land could become part of the $30 million, 22-acre Kroger development’s outparcel space.
The church board agreed earlier this year to have the 250-member congregation vote on the offer, which was proposed by commercial real estate company Blanchard and Calhoun Commercial of Augusta, Ga.
A sale price hasn’t been publicly disclosed.
Construction on the new 113,000-square-foot Kroger store could start early next year, and it might open in the spring of 2014. Besides the Kroger Marketplace, the store will contain about 12,000 square feet of small shop space, and the site will allow four to five outparcels with unidentified tenants.
Two hotels will be demolished to make way for the development, and all the roughly 60 homeowners in the area have agreed to sell their properties. A Mexican restaurant and closed day care center are also under contract.
The Oak Ridge Unitarian Universalist Church was built in 1956. A 1997 expansion added an entryway and sanctuary.
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